Local women-identified creatives continue to highlight why Austin is one of the major epicenters for legendary art.

By Hannah Nuñez

austin-woman-living-legends-Antones-Photo by mattlucht

Susan Antone

In 2013, Susan Antone took co-ownership of Austin’s biggest blues club, Antone’s, as a way to carry out her late brother Clifford Antone’s legacy. While many were worried about how the death of the founder would impact the city’s culture, Susan has managed to keep his spirit vibrant by upholding the family’s passion for music. Susan’s co-ownership proves that regardless of change, nothing can stop the “Home of the Blues” from celebrating life through music.

Miss Lavelle White

Starting her music career at 15 years old in Houston, Texas, Miss Lavelle White began to sneak into jazz clubs and share her voice to all who were willing to listen. When Clifford Antone invited her into Austin to perform at his famous nightclub, she found a home atop the stage and has stayed ever since. Since 1993, Miss Lavelle White has acted as the perfect representation of the Austin spirit. While much has changed since her arrival, at 94 years old, she continues to shine in the spotlight, spreading her resilience and outgoing attitude one song at a time.


Dr. Laurie Fluker

Laurie Fluker, Ph.D., has spent more than 35 years teaching her passion for journalism at Texas State University. Being one of the first Black women to teach at the university was something that never stopped Fluker, but rather encouraged her to act as an ally for all students who felt outcast. Throughout her career, she has earned a multitude of accolades, including Texas State’s Teaching Award of Honor and the Alumni Teaching Award. Fluker represents the bridge between education and art; both are highly capable of inspiring those who have yet to be seen.

Sylvia Orozco

Orozco is the co-founder and executive director of the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin. Since 1984, her presence has pushed the barriers placed on Latin American artists and encouraged all to express their culture through art. She was awarded the prestigious Ohtli Award by the Mexican Government in 2007 for her expansive work in sharing Latino heritage across borders. Orozco has spent her 40 years as executive director showcasing the work of other revered Hispanic artists and collectors including Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Juan Sandoval and Pedro Meyer. Orozco has taken major steps forward in the depiction of Austin’s Hispanic population, giving artists the space to take control and define their own culture.

austin-woman-living-legends-Anuradha Naimpally

Anuradha Naimpally

For 33 years, Anuradha Naimpally has taught as the artistic director of Austin’s premiere dance studio, Austin Dance India. What started out as a small class in her garage has turned into a renowned organization determined to spread Indian culture through the art of classical Bharata Natyam dance. Outside of the studio, Naimpally is globally known for performances that teach the history of India while also incorporating current world issues. Her talent has started important conversations everywhere from grand theaters to school cafeterias, encouraging all to be educated on worldly matters rather than shy away from the uncomfortable.

Legends in the Making


Pooneh Ghana

Pooneh Ghana is a world-touring resident concert photographer. With artists such as Cage The Elephant and Olivia Rodrigo under her belt, Ghana is making her way across all genres and stages. Her photography career had humble beginnings in 2008 when she began capturing the wave of “indie sleaze” for local Austin publications. As time passed, her skills and network began to grow. Ghana now has an outstanding 83,500 Instagram followers whom she regularly shares her tour photos with, in hopes of spreading her passion for music. While Ghana recently moved to Los Angeles, she acts as a representation of hope and endurance to all aspiring Austin artists.

Jackie Venson

With blues in her soul, Jackie Venson pays homage to the classic genre with a modern twist. Starting her career at 20 years old in the heart of Austin, Venson had no intention of fame. She was more eager to share her family passion for music. Since then, Venson has surpassed all expectations and will only continue to grow. She was named Best Guitarist at the 2018 Austin Music Awards and Best Musician in 2020, and when the CMT Awards called Austin home for the first time in 2023, Venson had the honor to play alongside the iconic Alanis Morissette as she sang her classic “You Oughta Know.” There’s no stopping Jackie Venson.




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